Reconceptualizing the teaching of controversial issues

Oulton, Christopher, Dillon, Justin and Grace, Marcus (2004) Reconceptualizing the teaching of controversial issues. International Journal of Science Education, 26, (4), 411-423. (doi:10.1080/0950069032000072746).


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Science has a role to play in the resolution of many of the issues deemed controversial in all societies. However, evidence of a lack of public confidence in science and scientists as effective problem solvers continues to accumulate. This paper speculates that this lack of confidence might in part be due to the way in which science educators present controversial issues. In particular, we argue that current approaches to teaching about controversy do not sufficiently acknowledge the nature of the issues themselves. The paper proposes a set of principles as the basis for a reconceptualization of the teaching of controversial issues and gives an example of how they might be applied in the teaching of one topic.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/0950069032000072746
ISSNs: 0950-0963 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: controversial issues, education, citizenship, teaching
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Education > Professional Practice & Pedagogy
ePrint ID: 12657
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2004
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:24

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